Staying healthy in OP during COVID-19

By Erin Doughherty for the City of Overland Park

COVID-19 has disrupted our daily routines in a way no one anticipated.

While we are busy protecting families, friends and colleagues during the pandemic, it’s easy to put our own self-care and well-being on the back burner.

Whether you’re working from home, caring for family members or providing an essential service, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you manage stress and support both your physical and mental health.

Take advantage of some of these tips from the experts to stay healthy in Overland Park during the pandemic.

Eating Well

Eating nutritious meals like those rich in fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains can help keep your mind and body healthy during stressful times.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nutrient-rich foods will not treat or prevent COVID-19, but they may affect how our immune system works to fight off infections. 

JoCo E.A.T.S. (Easy. Affordable. Tasty. Solutions.) is a great local resource for finding healthy and affordable recipes that are easy to make and taste delicious. offers various recipes and meal plans, all of which are analyzed for nutritious value and tested by home cooks and everyday people.

With many of us cooking at home more often, planning your meals ahead of your trip to the grocery store will help you shop safely and efficiently.

If you or someone you live with has a higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, ordering groceries online might be the best option for you. Many of our area grocery stores offer delivery or curbside pickup. 

The Overland Park Farmers’ Market provides a safe, outdoor shopping experience for those looking for fresh produce, local foods and unique specialty items. There are still a few more market dates before the end of the 2020 season.

Visit the market often? Help us improve the Farmer’s Market by completing this online survey.

COVID-19 has increased the number of people and families who are experiencing food insecurity.

See a list of local food pantries on the Johnson County website, or use the City’s meal sites locator map to find the one closest to your home. 

If you or someone you know is over the age of 60 and needs assistance with meal delivery, Meals on Wheels delivers quality, nutritious meals to qualified seniors throughout Overland Park. For more information, visit the Meals on Wheels website.

Staying Active 

Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. Visiting parks, trails, and recreational facilities is great to relieve stress, get some fresh air and stay active.

Overland Park offers high quality, affordable and convenient facilities and recreational and leisure activities for the whole family. Parks offer a safe, open space to play and visit with friends and family (socially distant, of course).

“Our parks system offers a variety of ways the public can stay healthy during COVID-19.

There are over 80 to choose from, and we have new playgrounds being installed, as well as walking trails in many of our parks,” says Parks and Recreation Director Jermel Stevenson. The Indian Creek and Tomahawk Creek bike/hike trails are great for walking, running and biking.

Looking for a slower pace and more scenery? You can safely visit the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, which includes 300 acres of gardens, wild hiking trails, open prairies and educational opportunities for everyone. 

Golf is another safe and socially distant sport you can enjoy right here in Overland Park at the city’s two public courses, Sykes/Lady Overland Park Golf Club or St. Andrews Overland Park Golf Club

As the weather gets colder, staying active outdoors becomes more difficult. Matt Ross Community Center and Tomahawk Ridge Community Center are open, with extra precautions for your safety. The fitness space is expanded, and exercise equipment is spread out to keep guests safe and healthy.

Coronavirus Wellness Tips

Looking for more advice to avoid spreading or contracting coronavirus in our community? Visit the Coronavirus page for best practices and links to the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

A note from the editor:

Overland Park is working with community writers to bring you important news, information and stories regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about the City’s response to coronavirus.